There are few things as uncomfortable as the feeling you get after your personal space has been broken into and burglarized. Unfortunately, a residential break-in occurs about every 90 seconds in Canada.
In the past, home security systems only sounded an alarm if someone broke into your home, but with today’s technological advancements, a modern home security system will not just help the authorities find and apprehend anyone who breaks into your home, they can also help prevent break-ins from happening in the first place.
Better yet — they can earn you a discount on your home insurance premium.
Security systems deter criminals
Studies show that burglars often choose the path of least resistance and are much more likely to skip homes that clearly have a home monitoring system in place. One big reason for this is that they know today’s systems are more interactive and instantaneous and go far beyond simply sounding an alarm when a break-in occurs.
Many modern home security systems have cameras, are internet-enabled and come with apps that can alert both homeowners and the authorities when a break-in occurs, providing them with instant and complete awareness of what’s going on in their homes.
Statistics also show that the amount of property stolen from homes equipped with a 24-hour monitored alarm system is much less than that from homes without such a system, because burglars know they just don’t have as much time to act once an alarm is activated.
Alarm systems can also monitor smoke, fire, temperature change, carbon monoxide and water escape. Monitoring services also make it so that help arrives sooner, which helps minimize the amount of damage and danger.
Some common types of security systems can range from:
- A fire and burglar alarm system that is monitored by a third-party security company providing 24-hour service
- Direct fire and police alarm with 24-hour direct connection to a responding fire hall and/or police station
- On-premises fire alarm system with local alarm only
- On-premises burglar alarm system with local alarm only
Why insurance providers provide discounts for home security systems
Break-ins cost Canadian insurance companies millions of dollars each year in claim payments. This cost is shared by policyholders through increased premiums.
Installing a home security system proves to your provider that you have taken steps to protect your home from intruders, property damage and loss. And more protection means you are less risky to insure, and therefore less likely to submit an expensive claim for theft or damage. Insurance companies know the benefits that 24-hour monitoring systems and other types of home security provide, so it just makes financial sense for them to offer incentives to their clients who install them.
How to qualify for insurance discounts when you install a home security system
Bear in mind that any electronic or monitored security devices must be operational to qualify for a discount, and that certificates may be required to confirm the devices and systems have been installed correctly and are in good working order.
Most insurance companies will offer discounts for security systems that are monitored by a third party. This is typically the company that installs and maintains the equipment, and monitors the home.
However, it’s good to be aware that not all security options may garner a discount. The type of security discounts offered also vary between different insurance providers.
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If you would like to learn more about specific discounts that home security improvements can make to your home insurance premium, talk to your insurance broker or agent.
Other ways to prevent break-ins
In addition to a third-party monitoring system, there are many security technologies you can monitor yourself, such as smart locks (these allow you to lock your door from anywhere in the world using a mobile app, and will alert you if someone is tampering with them), smart lights (which you can turn on and off with your phone), and video monitoring systems that you can watch from anywhere to catch thieves like porch pirates. These can help deter burglars as well, because they are more difficult to get past undetected, and they know that they are much more likely to be caught if they see these measures are in place.
Other common-sense measures you can take around your home include:
- Installing motion-sensor lights in dark areas that are hard to see
- Securing windows, patio doors and window air conditioner units, especially those on the first floor
- Having lights come on automatically using timers if you are not home
- Asking someone to pick up the mail if you are going to be away for a few days so it appears as though you’re home even when you’re not
Security monitoring systems offer protection that goes beyond just sounding an alarm: they can also ensure help is deployed immediately at the first sign of a problem. There are many options available for every budget these days. You may be surprised how affordable it is to take steps to protect your home and belongings while at the same time saving some money on your home insurance premium.